Cycling the beautiful Mosel River

 

June 2019

Les Saintes via Aigues Mortes

Submitted by mag on Sun, 06/30/2019 - 02:12

On Sunday we packed up and headed for the Camargue (Rhone Delta)  home of sun, beaches, white horses, bulls and crazy bull games.  We were bound for Les Saintes Maries De La Mer and didn't want to arrive too much before check in time, so we stopped off at the ancient walled city of Aigues Mortes. The name means Dead Waters - it's in the middle of a huge desolate salt marsh.  Like Sommories a walled city and of course HOT!

Sommieres Market Day

Submitted by mag on Sat, 06/29/2019 - 01:50

Saturday was a few degrees cooler... only 109 not 112 like Friday.  The market was amazing - there's no really big square in Sommieres, just miles of narrow alleys, so the huge number of vendors who converged on the town were stretched out all along the rabbit warrens.  The biggest square is below street level and completely surrounded by buildings so it was like a frying pan.  We bought a few veggies, sunglasses and a rotis poulet - which with salad and veggies made a great lunch and dinner.  Pity the grill-man...

Sommieres

Submitted by mag on Fri, 06/28/2019 - 09:12

Heading farther south into the heatwave we found a charming & air conditioned Airbnb garden cottage in the fortified medieval town of Sommiers on the edge of Languedoc.   When we first arrived we were confronted with an impregnable fortress-like wall and gate - we were convinced we were in the wrong place.  But we finally connected with our hostess and got settled in.

Pont du Gard

Submitted by mag on Wed, 06/26/2019 - 08:39

The oppressive heatwave has blown up from Africa and come down hard all over Europe.  Luckily we didn't have reservations anywhere so we were able to switch our criteria to places with AC!   We found an air conditioned camping cabin at Pont du Gard, which we really wanted to revisit, so we hightailed it down there. 

East on the Canal de Bourgogne

Submitted by mag on Sun, 06/23/2019 - 09:01

On Sunday we rode down to our local village of Vandesse and then headed east toward Dijon.  Lots of canal boats out, everyone out picnicing along the rivers and canals, and lots to see. The Fairy Tale fortified town & castle of Chateauneuf en Auxois was beckoning but we explored it last year so stayed along the canal trail.   We remembered a restaurant on the canal on the way to Dijon that we liked when we were here 5 years ago owned by a Swiss guy who spoke some English and was friendly  - we couldn't remember exactly where it was but we just kept pedaling until we found it.   

Bourgogne

Submitted by mag on Fri, 06/21/2019 - 11:29

Yesterday we headed on to France.   We packed up, cleaned the apartment, and made a shopping stop just before crossing into Luxembourg.   We needed German white wine, groceries for the first night and morning, and sheets and towels for the camping cabin.  We also needed to get a document notarized and hoped to get it done in Germany.  Our German is not great but our French is abysmal (even after both taking French in University and I even took a year at the French Institute in NYC. And spending months in France since then.)   It's just not a language that sticks with us.

Thurant Castle

Submitted by mag on Thu, 06/20/2019 - 10:20

Our last day on the Mosel we rode upriver to visit Thurant Castle.   On the way we stopped to check out the lavender fields and bee hotels.  As you can see, they are not too paranoid about separateing trains from cyclists... Freight and passenger trains streak through every 10 minutes and no one pays much attention.  Rail lines make perfect trail corridors but US trains refuse to give right of way.  There are a few "rail with trail" arrangements in the US and there has never been an accident, but they remain immovable. 

The Beautiful Mosel

Submitted by mag on Wed, 06/19/2019 - 04:25

We made it to the Sunny Mosel River - land of sunshine, vineyards, and flowers.  A castle on every hilltop and a wine terrace on every river curve.   We are on the Unter (lower) Mosel this time.  In 2013 we rode most of the Mosel up and back as far as Bernkastle-Kues. in 2016  we had the vehicle so based on the Upper Mosel around Trier.  This time we found a delightful apartment in the village of Kobern-Gondorf.  It's a bit quirky (lousy checkin and internet and some other issues) but very comfortable once we finally got settled with a full kitchen, living room, with huge windows, & lar